• Image about Rob Thomas


Whether Rob Thomas is performing with his band, with famous collaborators, or by himself, his distinctive sound makes him a multiplatinum success.


ROB THOMAS the man has remained shockingly under the radar since he broke onto the music scene more than a decade ago. But Rob Thomas the voice is unknown by no one. The former front man of hugely successful band Matchbox Twenty, Santana collaborator (who could forget their Grammy-winning duet, “Smooth”?), and now solo artist has commanded hit after hit and has contributed to the sale of 80 million records -- all thanks to his distinctive voice.

On his second solo album, Cradlesong (Emblem/ Atlantic, $19), Thomas has greased the wheels of the hit machine again. We spoke with him about his latest effort and his guilty-pleasure appeal.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE STATE OF MUSIC DURING THIS RECESSION?
Not to sound glib, but it feels like the music-industry recession started about six years ago. Last year, there was this report that said the only industry that didn’t tank was the concert industry. People want a little escapism -- movies, concerts. At the end of the day, if it were just me in a recession, I’d be upset. But it’s across the board. Everybody except for Kanye West. Kanye West is not in a recession.